As your parents age, you may notice signs that they are changing. Perhaps this is in their driving, keeping up with bill payments, forgetting to take medications, or other tasks they’ve done for years.
If you’re the adult child, particularly if you’re the one who seems poised to provide care as they continue to age, you may find yourself worrying more about them. How can you determine if and when help is vital for their well-being? How can you convince your elderly mother or father that it’s time to accept some help?
It’s not an easy time, for you or for them. Here are some ideas to help you determine next steps during this time.
First, evaluate if he or she really is changing by getting others’ perspectives. Do other family members or their neighbors see any of the concerns you have? Can you attend a doctor’s appointment with your parent and get the physician’s perspective?
Next, find a time to gently ask your parent if he or she is noticing changes. It’s possible they can react defensively (which may be a sign that they do know they are changing); they may also react with anger or appreciation. Sometimes, the aging senior tries to hide that he or she is changing, either physically or mentally. Acknowledging it may be a relief to them, as together, you can begin to decide next steps for their future.
Resistance to help can be difficult. In some cases, it might be helpful to have a physician or geriatric care specialist’s involvement. In extreme cases, if incapacity to take care of him or herself is a factor, you may want to contact an attorney about power of attorney.
In most cases though, this process of evaluating when an elderly parent needs help is a gradual thing that both you and they see. It’s an opportunity to broach the subject occasionally so that together, you can plan for how to safely and comfortably care for your parent, or help provide access to that care.
Staying in their own home is often one of the highest priorities for the elderly. At FootPrints Home Care, our goal is to help each senior continue to live at home. Our senior home care workers help with bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and to ensure that medications are taken on time. Because our caregivers are trained to monitor the senior they care for, they also notice any changes over time and can report any concerns to the family.
If we can help you or a family member living in the greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe region, call FootPrints for an in-home consultation or for answers on home care for your aging parent.